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J. Ralph Assembles Unbelievable Cast of Legendary Voices for 'Wretches & Jabberers' Out April 5, 2011

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - 02/10/11) -

  • Music Accompanies Incredible Journey of Autism

  • Newsweek proclaims "And if Autism Were a Song, It Might Sound Like This..."

  • "Wretches & Jabberers is one of the best original soundtracks from the year." - Denver Westword

  • J. Ralph Also Writes & Produces End Title Song to Grand Jury Prize Winning Sundance Film, 'Hell and Back Again,' Performed by Willie Nelson

  • "Like 'Taps' in its power, the film's closing song 'Hell and Back' is magnificently pitched by Willie Nelson, his voice cracking and soaring with full-dress honor." -- The Hollywood Reporter

J. Ralph, the acclaimed composer, songwriter and producer well known for his scores to the last two Academy Award-winning documentaries "The Cove" and "Man On Wire," draws upon an astounding collection of voices, united in a harmony of purpose for the brilliant and expansive "Wretches & Jabberers Original Motion Picture Soundtrack," which will be released on April 5, 2011. Metromix said, "This is unlike any soundtrack you've ever heard" and the "delicate, folksy tunes address the film's subject matter in ways that are subtle but evocative... highly recommended."The prolific composer also wrote the music and lyrics and produced the end title song for "Hell and Back Again." The movie just won Sundance's prestigious Grand Jury Documentary and Cinematography Awards at this year's festival. The film's closing song is performed by renowned country singer, Willie Nelson, accompanied by J. Ralph on guitar.Joining J. Ralph on the "Wretches and Jabberers" soundtrack are: Antony, Devendra Banhart, Paul Brady, Bonnie Bramlett, Vashti Bunyan, Martin Carthy, Judy Collins, Lila Downs, Vincent Gallo, David Garza, Ben Harper, Scarlett Johansson, Nic Jones, Norah Jones, Leah Siegel, Carly Simon, Stephen Stills, Ben Taylor, and Bob Weir.The album kicks off with J. Ralph singing "The Reasons Why" and is soon joined by a complement of collaborators, including the unmistakable Norah Jones on "Change is Gonna Come," and Ben Harper, who lends raw emotion to "More Like You," singing "I can't speak /but I need you to listen.""To me the story is about finding a voice, for those who've suffered so long without one of their own," says J. Ralph, referencing the inspiration for the album's 20 songs (all of them written or co-written by J. Ralph) borne from the namesake film by Academy Award winning director Gerardine Wurzburg. "Wretches & Jabberers" chronicles the global journey of a pair of men with autism, Larry Bissonnette and Tracy Thresher, who set out to demystify their disability and reveal its intense isolation, ultimately demonstrating that "Autism is not abnormality of the brain as much as abnormality of experience," per Bissonnette.But the musical journey that created the soundtrack is equally compelling, spanning multiple continents and iconic stars from five decades, in what's likely the most impressive gathering of talent in recent times. J. Ralph saw the subjects of the documentary as strolling minstrels going from towns to continents, a parallel to folk music, and soon Ralph's journey became a modern day road story of its own. Everyone J. Ralph reached out to was moved by the experience of the film's subjects. It started with a couple of phone calls to Ben Harper, and Scarlett Johansson, whose rich, smoky vocal evokes a 1930s Paris nightclub on "One Whole Hour." The stomp of "Lying Down Statues" with Devendra Banhart marks the album's rhythmic climax, while in contrast Bob Weir on "Breaking The Hold" evokes a Workingman's-era back porch session.Ultimately the journey brought him to the elder statesmen of English folk royalty. Martin Carthy -- a legend to the legends known for penning the first popular arrangement of "Scarborough Fair" -- and Nic Jones, whose career was cut short in 1980 due to a tragic car crash, but was inspired to join on "Pretty Words Lie," his first studio recording in over 30 years, thanks to an in-person appeal. A gifted artist and songwriter, J. Ralph set out to lend a voice through music to honor those who spent a lifetime searching for a voice of their own. And through sheer perseverance, and perhaps a touch of brilliance, has drawn upon an astounding collection of voices, and an album that stands as a musical masterwork.Wretches & Jabberers Original Motion Picture Soundtrack debuted on January 11th as part of an exclusive charity promotion with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Autism Society of America and the Wretches & Jabberers Fund of the Institute on Communication and Inclusion at Syracuse University. The wide release follows on April 5, 2011, with spectacular sounding limited edition CDs and vinyl thanks to J. Ralph's close collaboration with McIntosh, a world-renowned manufacturer known for its legendary performance that has defined the very best in sound reproduction for over 60 years. McIntosh not only provided all the world-class audio gear used for critical listening during mixing, but also collaborated closely with J. Ralph on the creation and mastering of the limited edition CDs and vinyl to ensure the highest possible listening experience.Complete track listing including song title and featured singer:1. The Reasons Why - J. Ralph
2. Change Is Gonna Come - Norah Jones
3. The Letter - Carly Simon
4. More Like You - Ben Harper
5. Killingly Hard - Antony & J. Ralph
6. Flower and The Lion - Vashti Bunyan
7. Given to Us - Ben Taylor
8. Breaking the Hold - Bob Weir
9. Lying Down Statues - Devendra Banhart & J. Ralph
10. Birdsong Judy - Judy Collins
11. Low Barefoot Tolerance - Stephen Stills
12. One Whole Hour - Scarlett Johansson
13. No Regard - Vincent Gallo
14. Four Brave Souls - David Garza
15. Breakers & The Wind - Bonnie Bramlett
16. Pretty Words Lie - Nic Jones
17. Fighters & Factitioners - Martin Carthy
18. Hello For The First Time (Four Words) - Paul Brady
19. Entenderse - Lila Downs
20. Birdsong Reprise - Leah Siegel